The latest regional economic update report provides a useful summary of how well the regions are performing, but once again it shows how poorly we are at taking ‘game changing’ decisions to get action on the big issues.
With reference to the section on Auckland, Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, noted that the report claimed that the government and Auckland Council “are working together” to:
- Improve infrastructure and urban amenities;
- Develop education and labour opportunities for Auckland’s youth and migrant populations; and,
- Help the region become more innovative and export driven.
“Here is yet another report setting out Auckland’s growth agenda, but pulling its punch when it comes to spelling out the urgency of decisions that need to be made on Auckland’s big issues,” said Mr Barnett.
For the Chamber and to give the business community some certainty that we are moving past the global financial crises into a period of sustained growth, there are four big game changing announcements that are needed NOW:
- A ‘game change’ housing action programme target to identify 30,000 – 40,000 new sites in 2013-14 – to show a real response to the need for 13,000 new homes a year against the fact we are only building about 4000 new units a year;
- Completed business cases for seeking the funding to build the AMETI-East/West Link (critical to Auckland’s freight sector going forward) and Central Rail Link by 2021 – given both projects are substantially unfunded yet have a ‘highest priority’ ranking in the Auckland Plan.
- A confirmed agenda to finalise the Unitary Plan in a way that enables accelerated delivery of Auckland’s/Government’s growth plans.
- A confirmation that the International Convention Centre will be built ASAP – given the case for the Centre was made 10 years ago, and with SkyCity offering the $700 million needed to build, “we have run out of excuses for the lack of action,” said Mr Barnett.
For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.